Anyone build thier own upper?

Discussion in 'AR-15 Discussion' started by CamoToe1, May 5, 2012.

  1. CamoToe1

    CamoToe1 Member

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    Hello. I came down with a bad case of BRD and it seems to be spreading. A friend of mine was thinking about building his own upper so that he can keep purchases in $100-200 increments. Much easier to pass his wife's audit that way.

    I like the idea and wouldn't mind building a 20" 1/8 twist wylde chamber varmint upper myself.

    1. Has anyone on here done this?
    2. What tools are absolutely necessary, beyond the obvious(barrel nut wrench, punches, etc)
    3. Any tips or suggestions?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    I like my guns how I like my coffee...
     
  2. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    It's not too difficult depending on your mechanical aptitude.

    You will need a barrel wrench, torque wrench, upper receiver block and vise. Depending on the gas block you use, you may need some roll punches.

    Check out ar15performance for a nice $190 barrel 20" 1/8 wylde, or Addaxtactical.com for a BHW Black Hole Weaponry barrel for $190. AR15performance barrels are nice but he uses a non standard barrel threading that'll make it difficult for you to findea flashider or brake.
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    torque wrench, some anti seize compound, upper reciever block is handy but not neccessary.

    when i torque the barrel nut i torque to 30ft pounds then set the wrench to 75ft lbs and turn the nut until the gas tube hole in the nut and the hole in the receiver line up and not exceed 75ft pounds doing it. the official nut torque range is 30-80ft lbs. when using the barrel wrench and torque wrench together the torque wrench has to be at a 90 degree angle or the torque wrench will apply far more torque than what you have it set for.

    i use anti seize on the reciever threads so the nut is easy to get off if i need to at some later point.

    the other issue is getting the gas block on correct. that depends on what gas block your using.

    an upper receiver block lets you set the reciever securely in a vice and hold it square when applying torque and not warping it. while having a friend hold it while torquing is doable its not easy.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  4. BenLuby

    BenLuby New Member

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    Agree with both AgentTikki and JonM. My next one I intend to build completely. The biggest thing is making sure the gas tube is properly lined up on both ends. If that's off, you can have issues.
     
  5. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    Another thing you must be aware of is that if the barrel/extension has rifle style feed ramps, which is common with 20" barrels, then do NOT get a stripped upper that comes with M4 ramps (you'd want an upper with no ramps at all, which can be hard to find).
     
  6. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Nice catch, forgot about that.....I seem to also recall having to dimple the barrel for pinned gas blocks....can't remember where I read about that.....
     
  7. russ

    russ New Member

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  8. CamoToe1

    CamoToe1 Member

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    This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for the help guys.

    Might be a dumb question, but all barrels come with the properly sized gas port pre-drilled right?
     
  9. russ

    russ New Member

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    Yes. A quality barrel shouldn't need any work done to it at all.
     
  10. CamoToe1

    CamoToe1 Member

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    My first build included shaving my own gas block is guess I've pretty much already built an upper or at least disassembled and reassembled one. Here's a few photos of my shaved block and finished upper.

    Looks like great minds think alike!
     

    Attached Files:

  11. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    Very clean job on that FSB. Makes mine look like a 3 year old did it! You obviously have some skillz. A receiver block will help you from scratching up your receiver when you put it in a vise. I've never built one without one.............
     
  12. CamoToe1

    CamoToe1 Member

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    Just ordered this set from Brownell's yesterday. $70 after shipping. More than I wanted to spend but locking down my bcm upper with blocks of wood made me real nervous last time.

    I am a big believer in using the right tools. Which is also why i chose the BCM.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. AgentTikki

    AgentTikki New Member

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    There are some issues you might run into. Be wary of barrel gas block diameters and gas lines. Some barrels have a proprietary gas block and gas system length.

    Noveske even has a shorter gas block section and requires a short gas block.
     
  14. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

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    No argument here! I have a BCM upper in transit as we speak (or type). :D
     
  15. GaMatt72

    GaMatt72 New Member

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    I just finished my lower and now am starting on my upper. A trip to the gun show today produced no parts. :(
     
  16. Fixer

    Fixer New Member

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    Not that, But a always do BMO

    I have never done that build, but I havent bought a upper off the rack since my Bushmaster in like 1991...or 1992. I do custom builds the whole way. I have even done complete custom jobs using unconventional materials like heat shielded PVC and liquid cooled tubing with heatsinks.
     
  17. GaMatt72

    GaMatt72 New Member

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    Ordered my nickel boron BCG lasdt night and just found a Aero precision stripped upper and ordered it.
     
  18. GaMatt72

    GaMatt72 New Member

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  19. CamoToe1

    CamoToe1 Member

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    When you build your uppers do you dimple and set screw all has blocks or do you drill, ream and taper pin? I think it would cool to learn how to taper pin, but may be a costly learning process.